When I saw 'Bone Tomahawk' a few months ago, I already felt that S. Craig Zahler would be a director to watch. Now I know. When watching 'Brawl In Cell Block 99' tonight, I suddenly realized that, finally, someone would join John Carpenter in the B movies Pantheon. Don't look further, S. Craig Zahler is the worthy successor of the hero of our teenage years. Thank you, Craig! Masterpiece.
The plot is watchable and servicible, yet the exposition is taxing and could've easily been cut by half its length. It's a carbon copy of all the ordinary character cliches and plot arcs of its subgenre. Like Bone Tomahawk, nothing is unique or striking aside from Zahler's glee in the violent setpieces. At least, Zahler's action scenes work here more than they did in Bone Tomahawk.
4.5. An extra half-star for Zahler's grimly eager willingness to make this thing toxic from skin to bones--it's not hard to imagine it being embraced enthusiastically by nativist assholes--without, thanks to a miraculous performance perpetrated by Vince Vaughn, sacrificing sympathy, humanity, or heart.
Good throwback to 70s grindhouse prison flicks. Vince Vaughn is excellent as a hillbilly with principles who gets thrown into jail and must work is way to the bottom, or top, to kill the drug kingpin who has kidnapped his pregnant wife. S. Craig Zahler seems on a mission to out-Tarantino Tarantino, which doesn't bother me considering Tarantino's output lately.
Here's a movie based on a strict video game logic (go from point A to point B, collect item C to kill the boss etc.) and a narrative overtly based on exploitation and grindhouse flicks of the '70s. A deranged homage to the past. A killer cast (Udo Kier! Don Johnson!). Truly dememented dialogues! Gore and splatter like it's raining cats and dogs! I mean, what's not to love?
I’d heard tell that this was a surprisingly great film and stopped reading on but I was flabbergasted at how great this movie ended up being. It’s not just a homage to gritty grindhouse revenge flicks it genuinely fits right alongside to those 70s features in fact it makes Ron Rodriguez homages to grindhouse flicks quant in comparison and almost juvenile. The fight coordination and the effects,warts & all, r aces
Falling somewhere between Walking Tall, Deathwish & Thriller: A Cruel Picture, Brawl in Cell Block 99 is a wonderful nod towards credible 70s B-movies. I can't help but think that after the famous shot of Vaughn & Gibson at the Oscars a slew of libertarian & conservative movies will adorn indie Hollywood again much like the 70s & 80s. Brutal, cerebral & cathartic, BICB99 is exploitation par excellence! A+
3.5ish - lean, mean and gritty. Vince Vaughn is very good in this (I was somewhat skeptical) and of course so are the fights. towards the end things get particularly more brutal... in a good way! faces meeting concrete, can't actually think of another film that's done it better.
A brutal and visceral odessey with a commanding performance by Vaughn. The writing is very good and the dialogue is both clever and to the point. The violence is very graphic and sometimes veers over into the comical. Tarantino has got some competition when it comes to pulpy noir with smart writing.
S. Craig Zahler is quickly becoming one of my favorite new filmmakers. I enjoyed his horror infused take on the spaghetti western with Bone Tomehawk. So, needless to say I was very excited to see what he did next. With this film Zahler crafts a violent, pulpy crime thriller. Unfortunately, the film does lag a little bit towards the middle and at times you can feel the films budget. That being said this is a fun ride.